Swear I'm not Paul: 11/01/2009

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Blog Co-Operation: Top 10 Upcoming Irish Acts

This post represents blog co-operation at it's best. Peter over at 2 U I Bestow and myself have been working on creating a list of 10 Irish acts who we believe will make considerable progress towards world domination in the coming 12 months. Each of us picked 5 acts. Think of this as the Irish version of Sound of 2009. And don't complain when we constantly say "I told you so" throughout the year!


Aortal are a three piece power alternative rock band with an amazing vocalist. Their MySpace with 20,000 plus friends describes the band as " ..... a Dublin three piece fronted by James O' Toole on guitar and vocals with Conor Friel on bass and Jay McNamara on Drums. This exciting new act combines striking vocals and visuals with the raw energy of a pumping heart." Due to their search for a drummer I have a feeling Aortal's debut won't be released in 2009 but what I do think will happen is that the band will create a big buzz in Ireland. The beginning of this buzz will be in February where they will be competing in the JD Set rock band competitions after been chosen from hundreds of bands! An initial Aortal comparison has to be JJ72 with a slighly harder edge. James is a great singer and it's that voice that will carry Aortal all the way to success.


Aortal - 'In Light'

Armoured Bear

Armoured Bear come from down south, and like all southern bands, come packed with attitude. It doesn't only apply to US bands that southern thing, you know? Armoured Bear were a hit at last year's CorkXSW Festival, and after the release of their stunning Honeycomb Moons, they should be much bigger nationwide. The appeared on RTE's The View last week, and this is only the start of their rise in popularity. Expect big things from this upcoming Irish indie quartet. Oh and you should check out their wonderful website. It's almost as clever as the music.

Official Site

Armoured Bear - 'Imagination'

Laura Izibor

Laura Izibor from working class Dublin was first discovered at the age of 15 when she won a national song contest. This was five years ago. Now at the age of 20 and on the cusp of releasing her debut album "Let The Truth Be Told", Laura is fully prepared for superstardom. Laura is a pop diva with an Irish attitude! I feel her Irishness will seperate her from similar artists such as Joss Stone and Duffy. She has full financial backing from Atlantic records and her music is already familiar to us due to the clever placement of Laura's songs in movies and on advertisements. Her songs can be heard in PS I Love You, The Nanny Diaries, Greys Anatomy and Seven Pounds. Laura has also supported the likes of James Blunt, Estelle and the legendary Aretha Franklin in New York City. Did I mention she actually can write a decent pop tune?


Laura Izibor - 'Mmm'

Lines Drawing Circles

Lines Drawing Circles are probably not a band you've heard of. Yet. Their debut single will be released in February, with a special release party in CrawDaddy on 7th February 2009. We've been lucky enough to hear that single, and have to say it sounds very, very promnising. It's one of those infectious pop songs, but never becomes syrupy. You know the kind of stuff Nada Surf do best? A bit like that. They released a self-titled EP last year, which had glimpses of greatness. The new single, 'Thebes' is even better.


No videos available yet.

Susan Enan

Susan Enan spent many years living in Northern Ireland but is now a resident of NYC who has a debut album ready for release during 2009. There are many similarities between Susan and Laura Izibor in that you may well be familar with Susan's sound due to the placement of Bring on the Wonder (ft Sarah McLauchlin) in the tv programme Bones and is the closing song of that soundtrack. I became aware of Susan's talent when her song Moonlight appeared on the Ruby Sessions Compilation in 2003. Moonlight is such an amazing song which has to be discovered this year. When the debut appears, she will already have a massive pool of fans due to the Bones soundtrack and will hopefully become massive in the year 2009.


Susan Enan - 'Bring On The Wonder'

Television Room

Television Room is a band formed out of the ashes of The Marshal Stars who in 2004 were signed by Vertigo records. The Marshal Stars were a three piece power pop band ready for national success. Hotpress regularly featured the band's singles and gigs with a next big thing tag attached to the band! However a new direction was sought by the Marshals Stars Michael John and James O'Brian and Television Room was born in 2007. Television Room are a five piece indie pop band ready for national and then global domination. Their first single Tinabelle can be found on the Faction 2 compilation album and the band have finished recording and mixing their debut which will be released this year also on Faction Records. I predict big things for Television Room this year.


Television Room - 'Coffee Houses'


Tenaka is one guy: Ronan Carroll. He's this year's RSAG. Yes, he's that damn good. His name reminds me of a wrestler, or T-Hawk from Streetfighter, but who cares about names? It's the music that matters. He recently released his debut EP, EPonymously Titled to much acclaim, and has even been featured on BBC Radio across the water. Some of his tracks are instrumental, but add in the word "multi" and it makes them all the more interesting. A supremly talented musician, if his live act stands up to his studio stuff, 2009 could well be his year.


No videos yet.

The Funeral Suits

A band can become successful due to one or two specific influencial endorsements. In the case of The Funeral Suits, getting an endorsement from BBC's Steve Lamacq has given the band band clear motivation to succeed. The Funeral Suits are an indie band with great tunes and dynamic musicians. In the summer of 2008 they released their first EP Oh Dear. It looks like 2009 will have The Funeral Suits touring up and down the country, getting as much exposure as possible and recording their debut album. The Funeral Suits certainly belong to the indie genre of Fight Like Apes and Los Compesinos and this will be their year!


The Funeral Suits - 'Black Lemonade'

The Kanyu Tree

If there is justice in the world, this summer should be the summer of the Kanyu Tree. Their songs are a pop masterclass. The band is a trio of Galweigan brothers (the Cluskeys). Last year they supported The Hold Steady (where I found out about them), The Feeling, Ocean Colour Scene, The Bluetones and the Stunning. 2009 can only get better. If you've heard them, you'll know why. If not, get to their MySpace page now and download 'Crocodile'. A sing-along sensation. Check them out at a free gig in Whelan's on 21st of January, 2009.


The Kanyu Tree - 'Crocodile'

The Kinetiks

One small problem with this band is the sheer amount of "k"s in their name. One too many if you ask me. However, in Gaz Harding, they are blessed with one of Ireland's finest frontmen. Charming and sincere, but with a no-care attitude, you can tell he really feels every word and every note he plays. They're set to release their new EP, called Aye Aye Aye on March 6th, and look set to increase their already-decent exposure by hopefully moving up the Oxegen stagelist. They're on RTÉ's The Café tonight (Friday, 16th January), so check them out.


The Kinetiks - 'A Smile Crack'd Your Face'

Watch: Neil Young - Fork in the Road

Title track from the upcoming Neil Young album of which we have absolutely no information whatsoever:

Watch Neil Young 'Fork in the Road':

Download: Odawas - Harmless Lover's Discourse

Odawas - The Blue Depths

February 13th (in Ireland at least) sees the release of Odawas' third album The Blue Depths, released on the wonderful Jagjaguwar label. The music is kind of like Neil Young with keyboards. Their third record is warmer and maybe even more accessible than the previous two, and I for one, can't wait for its release.

The Case of the Great Irish Elk
Swan Song for the Humpback
Our Gentle Life Together
The Sound of Lies
Secrets of the Fall
Harmless Lover’s Discourse
Boy in the Yard

Odawas - 'Harmless Lover's Discourse'

More info:

Album Cover: U2 - No Line on the Horizon

U2 - No Line on the Horizon album cover art

Alleged album cover for the new U2 album No Line on the Horizon. Plus a tracklist:

1. No Line On The Horizon
2. Magnificent
3. Moment of Surrender
4. Unknown Caller
5. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight
6. Get On Your Boots
7. Stand Up Comedy
8. Fez – Being Born
9. White As Snow
10. Breathe
11. Cedars Of Lebanon

Other Blog Posts: Pensamiento on Julie Feeney

The impossible to pronounce Pensamiento Aleatorio has a great new post about former Choice Music Prize winner Julie Feeney and her new album Pages here which I thought you guys should check out:

Watch 'Aching':

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Album News: Pete Doherty - No Title Yet

Pete Doherty of the Libertines and Babyshambles will release his debut solo album on March 9th in the UK, so expect it on the 6th in Ireland.

NME Magazine has an exclusive preview of the album in tomorrow's issue. They say "Singer Dot Allison performs co-vocals on 'Sheepskin Tearaway', while Doherty's Babyshambles bandmates Mik Whitnall, Adam Ficek and Drew McConnell also play on the album."

'Last Of The English Roses'
'1939 Returning'
'A Little Death Around The Eyes'
'Through The Looking Glass'
'Sweet By And By'
'Palace Of Bone'
'Sheepskin Tearaway'
'Broken Love Song'
'New Love Grows On Trees'
'Lady, Don't Fall Backwards'

'Arcadie' live:

News: HMV buys Irish Zavvi stores

Good and bad news here. Good that the Zavvi stores in Ireland aren't closing down for good, but bad because it gives HMV a greater monopoly on DVD prices. Thus it means I'm paying more for Season 5 of House whenever it comes out!

However, they didn't buy the one in Blanchardstown, as they already have a HMV there. Just wondering though, is that Zavvi sale now over, or should I get my ass out to Dundrum quick smart?

Read more online in today's Irish Times:

News: State Magazine RIP

The death knell has come. Ireland's best contemporary music publication State Magazine will no longer be released in physical form. This is sad, sad news, as it was so much better than Hot Press. That and I never got the chance to do a guest article for them!

State will continue its online role, so that is a huge bonus. However, my bus journeys to and from work will never be the same. The magazine will still be available in online format, so at least that's something.

Full information:

We wish the guys the best of luck with the online endeavours.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

News: Choice Music Prize 2009 Odds

From Paddy Power:

3/1 The Script - The Script
9/2 Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew
9/2 Fight Like Apes - Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden
5/1 Jape - Ritual
7/1 David Holmes - The Holy Pictures
8/1 Mick Flannery - White Lies
10/1 Halfset - Another Way of Being There
12/1 Messiah J & The Expert - From The Word Go
12/1 Oppenheimer - Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It
16/1 R.S.A.G. - Organic Sampler

News: Choice Music Prize 2009 Nominations announced

Here's the full shortlist for the 2009 Choice Music Prize (great news, no Snow Patrol!):
Fight Like Apes - Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion
Mick Flannery - White Lies
Halfset - Another Way of Being There
Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew
David Holmes - The Holy Pictures
Jape - Ritual
Messiah J & The Expert - From The Word Go
Oppenheimer - Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It
RSAG (Rarely Seen Above Ground) - Organic Sampler
The Script - The Script

But the Script? What the...? I hope Mick Flannery, David Holmes, RSAG or Fight Like Apes win it. Please please please. Winner to be announced March 4th at Vicar Street. And if any free tickets are going, I'd love to report from it!

Official site:

Excellent Post: Whelan's in 1999


Excellent post on 2UIbestow on a period of Whelan's history. Not Ronnie Whelan, but the venue on Wexford Street. Wonderfully written piece by Peter. Check it out here:

Album Cover: Bonnie Prince Billy - Beware

Bonnie Prince Billy - Beware album cover art

Forget about that Animal Collective record, the cover album for Will Oldham's upcoming album (due out in March) is up there with Morrissey's for album cover of the year. It's bloody amazing. It's like a cooler American Recordings.

Stream: Fiction Family - Fiction Family

The new album from Sean Watkins, under the guise of Fiction Family (along with Jon Foreman) is due to hit the US the same day as Barack Obama is. I'm not sure yet which will have more impact!

From hearing it, 'When She's Near' is a rewrite of 'Peaberry'. Well, at least that's what my good man Andy is telling me!

Stream it in full here:

Live: Lyle Lovett at the Olympia Theatre

Lyle Lovett and his It's Not Big, It's Large big band (confusing huh?) will be playing th Olympia Theatre this year on his current world tour.

The gig will take place on March 31st, with tickets costing €44.50. Tickets go on sale Friday the 16th of January, but I doubt they'll sell out.

This remains his greatest ever song:

Download: Bon Iver - 'Blood Bank'

Bon Iver - Blood Bank Cover art

Thanks to our good friends over at Jagjaguwar Records for providing a download of the excellent title-track from the new Bon Iver EP, Blood Bank.

You may remember my review of his show at the National Stadium last year, where he performed this, and the other three songs from the EP. If not, check it out here:

The EP is available on vinyl on his current tour, but will be out this Friday in Ireland on CD format.

Bon Iver - 'Blood Bank'

More info/Buy the EP:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Live: Starsailor at the Academy

Stairsailor were always decent background music. My brother loved them so played them a lot, but for me that was always in the background. Probably when I was going through my Dave Matthews Band years. Anyhow, they're still in existance, and are set to play Dublin's Academy on April 16th, 2009.

Tickets cost €25 (a small bit expensive for them I think), and are on sale today.

Watch 'Poor Misguided Fool' and remember what all the fuss was about:

Download: Folklore - The Pharmacist

Folklore - The Ghost of HW Beaverman

Again, another great re-release from Indiecater at a bargain price of €3.50. The Ghost of H.W. Beaverman was mp3hugger's favourite album of 2007, and that has to be enough reason to buy it. And at €3.50, you've no exuse. So check out this free download, and then decide to buy the album itself.

Folklore - 'The Pharmacist'